Do you ever feel under-valued, under-paid and unappreciated as a mother? The commitment and devotion is takes to raise a child means being there every day – and night – preparing food, attending, listening, understanding, discussing, reading, playing, counseling, teaching, shopping, arranging, managing illness and so much more. Mothers make huge sacrifices in their careers and in other places in order to be there for their children. The indescribable love that you as a mother feel for your children probably gives you the energy and determination to do all of this. But not all children are lucky enough to have a mother who is psychologically or physically able to be there for them. I have known one such boy for a few years:
Jaydin is 8 years old and neither his mom nor his dad could take care of him because they weren’t able to manage the demands of parenthood. His mother abandoned him and cannot be traced and his father has other problems that mean he can’t take care of his son. So Jaydin has spent the past 5 years in a private orphanage where he gets the best that an institution can offer in meeting a child’s needs. But it is not enough. Jaydin has learning difficulties, partly because his mother abused substances during her pregnancy and partly because of early neglect. So he has a facilitator to help him at school, an au-pair to drive him around to his various therapies and remedial lessons and to help him with his homework. He has regular play therapy due to his debilitating social and emotional problems. He attends a top quality private school where he battles to fit in because of his psychological problems and because the other kids find him weird and different. There is always a trained, caring, supportive adult at the orphanage, ready to give him what he needs or listen to his troubles. But nobody can love this child in the way that a mother could have. All these efforts to help Jaydin cost thousands each month and they involve so many caring, loving and dedicated people. But Jaydin has not been able to recover psychologically from the pain of losing his mother and his father and he continues to suffer from the ongoing trauma of not having a home and family of his own. What Jaydin really needs is a mother and no amount of anything anyone else does can make up for that.
And that, in my opinion, says something about the true, irreplaceable value of a mother. What do you think and do you have experiences of your own that are worth sharing here?